Keeping cichlids is by no means a simple feat. It takes time and devotion from the fishkeeper. However, if you put in the time and effort, you will be the envy of all who see your fish tank!

The following steps will give you a great understanding of what they will need.

Do Not Mix Cichlids From Varied Geographic Regions


Naturally, there are exceptions to the above statement as some cichlids can co-exist with specific cichlids. However, there are thousands of numerous species of cichlids out there, and there is no way I can tell you which species can or cannot be mixed.

The primary rationale here is that numerous regions have varied water requirements. Therefore, it is improbable for them to be perfectly compatible with each other.

Another excellent reason is that you want to stop the issue of cross-breeding, where two various species from the same genus breed. Consequently, it is greatest to play it safe and not mix them around, particularly if you are new to keeping cichlids.

Territorial Objects


Cichlids are notorious for being territorial fishes. Thus, you are asking for trouble if you place them (together with other fishes) in a tank with few objects. An empty tank will produce a lot of fighting as there are no objects to define the boundaries.

Cichlids, like most animals, use surrounding objects to mark their territory. Therefore, you have to make sure that your tank is filled with aquatic objects and decorations.

It doesn’t need to be a large tank; the critical point here is defined territories. A little 20-gallon tank with lots of wood, plastic plants, rock features, caves, and empty shells can house a dozen cichlids without any difficulties!



The aquarium for sustaining cichlids should be large. Usually, a 20-gallon tank can be employed to set up an aquarium for cichlids. The tank ought to be cleaned thoroughly by rinsing with water. But be sure not to use soap to clean the tank, as soap can prove detrimental to the well-being of cichlids.

Filtration is essential to sustain the aquarium by consuming clean drinking water. A sponge filter can be employed if the aquarium is not too big. Apart from sponge filters, several other kinds of filters are available, from which you can choose one that would be the greatest for your aquarium.

Together with a filter, you will also need an air pump, gravel, and a thermometer. If the drinking water contains chloramine, then a chloramine remover would be required to guard your cichlids against chlorine.

Now to create a surrounding similar to the natural habitat of cichlids, you can add rocks and plants to your aquarium. You can opt for either live or artificial plants, depending on whether the reside plants can survive the high pH level of the aquarium drinking water.

Some species of cichlids reside primarily in rocky atmospheres, and consequently, they might prefer to are living in an aquarium filled with rocks than plants. Therefore, the choice would to a great extent depend on the specific species of cichlids. Read a lot, much more on aquarium care and aquarium fish kinds.

The Right Water Conditions

To sustain cichlids in an aquarium, you must maintain the ideal temperature and pH of drinking water. To maintain the superb range of temperature in your aquarium, you can set up a heater together with the tank’s back wall. Sustain the temperature between 74 to 82 Fahrenheit.

Also, maintain the aquarium away from the sunny region to prevent fluctuations in the temperature. Sustaining the aquarium in a sunny area can result in overheating that can kill the fish.

The pH level of consuming water ought to be maintained among 7.five to 8.five, as cichlids prefer alkaline ingesting drinking water. If the pH is extremely low or the consuming water is acidic, a substrate can be utilized to sustain the alkalinity of consuming h2o. You can use typical soda, limestone, or crushed coral and gravel to alkaline the drinking water. Drinking water in a closed atmosphere like an aquarium tends to get unclean rapidly. So, change the h2o once a week. Nonetheless, do not alter a great deal much more than 10% of the aquarium consuming water at a time.


Although feeding cichlids, remember to go slow and avoid overfeeding, particularly for the extremely initial few days. It is preferable to add tiny amounts of food to the aquarium regularly than adding a large amount at a time. It is essential to know about the correct kind of foods for your cichlid species. Usually, you can use a variety of foods, including cichlids, flakes, and pellets. Several also opt for frozen and reside foods as nicely.


Humphead Cichlid
Humphead Cichlid

For Cichlids’ breeding, one should know that there are two breeders, open brooders and shelter brooders. The open brooders lay eggs in the open such as, on rocks or substrate. The shelter brooders can be either cavity brooders or mouthbrooders. The cavity brooders spawn in cavities or caves, although the mouthbrooders carry the eggs and the fry in their mouth till they can swim freely. On the other hand, the open brooders care for the young ones until they can swim and eat independently.

The most vital factors for successful breeding are the wellness of the fish, their diet, and their age. It is preferable to get several females for one male. Feeding much much more protein-rich foods at the time of breeding can prove extremely helpful for cichlids breeding. Providing sheltered spots like rocks and plants can also be beneficial, especially for the mouthbrooders. Sustain the ideal temperature and alkalinity of drinking water to facilitate cichlids’ breeding, as nicely as the hatching of the eggs. Usually, it has been observed that overfeeding can discourage breeding, so stop it.

For harvesting cichlids, you can allow the female to release the fry in a separate tank. This would aid in protecting the fry from other adults cichlids. The fry will grow rapidly if provided a healthy diet, along with great drinking water problems.